FIR not registered by police on my complaint – what to do?

About one month back, two persons snatched about Rs. 5000/- and my wrist watch from me threating me with a knife. They also slapped me 3-4 times. I reported the matter to the police. However, the police has not taken any action so far. No FIR has been registered and no investigation has been conducted. What should I do now.


From the facts stated by you, it is quite clear that a cognizable offence of robbery has been committed. Section 154 of the Cr.P.C. mandates the police to register FIR on a complaint that discloses commission of a cognizable offence. The relevant part of Section 154 Cr.P.C. is quoted below:
154. Information in cognizable cases.— (1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf…”.
It is also pertinent to point out that if the SHO refuses to register the FIR, you can send the complaint to the Superintendent of Police of the district concerned (in a city, it may be a Deputy Commissioner of Police), as laid down in sub-section (3) of Section 154 Cr.P.C., as quoted below:
“(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in sub-section (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.”
I may also point out that as per a recent decision (12 November 2013) of a 5-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the case of Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P., (2014) 2 SCC 1, it is mandatory for the officer-in-charge or the SHO of a police station to register the FIR if the complaint given to him discloses commission of a cognizable offence.
Therefore, by citing this judgment, in the first instance you can request the Superintendent of Police of the district to get the FIR registered and to take disciplinary action against the SHO for failing to register the FIR. If need be, you may file an application for the Magistrate having jurisdiction over the area for directing the police to investigate under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. In fact, non-registration of FIR in a cognizable offence may even amount to contempt of court for flouting the directions issued by the Supreme Court.

About Dr. Ashok Dhamija

Dr. Ashok DhamijaDr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate, holds Ph.D. in Constitutional Law, is author of 3 law books, and is an ex-IPS officer. He is the founder of this law portal. Read more by clicking here. List of his articles. List of his Forum Replies. List of his Quora Answers.

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